Most Canadians spend 65% of their waking hours sitting or being sedentary. Adults should be getting at least 150 minutes of exercise every week; however, the reality is, fewer than 15% of Canadians meet this goal. There are a number of ill health effects that come from a sedentary lifestyle, such as:
- Metabolism slows down
- Decreased blood circulation
- Muscles and joints become stiff
- Increased fatigue
We must remember there are also ill health effects that come from standing for hours at work, such as: varicose veins, back pain, and strain on ligaments in feet
The key is to find a balance between sitting, standing and generally just moving around.
John Boyd, a contributor to Forbes.com, reminds us it’s
“the micro movements that come from standing up, sitting down, walking about, changing positions, and doing other simple activities at work that bring the health benefits.”
Increased activity burns more calories and increases blood circulation.
The question we should all be asking is how can we be more active at work?
- Alternate sitting with standing up by setting an alarm on your computer or cell phone to beep every 20 minutes or half-hour as a reminder to stand, and do a quick stretch
- Install apps on your phone that help facilitate stretching and remind you to move
- Stand up when you take or place phone calls
- Use the washroom on a different floor in your building
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Walk over to talk to a colleague instead of calling or emailing
- Hold walking meetings
- Take a walk on your lunch break
- Walk or bike to work
- Park farther away from your workplace, and walk an extra 20 minutes twice a day
- Check out the PAC’s lunch time fitness classes and/or take a swim after work
- Set a timer on your phone, watch, or computer to alert you every 20 minutes. Stand up and focus on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This will help your vision stay healthy!